American photographer Elisabeth Caren featured as a shortlisted artist in the third edition of the Young Masters Art Prize in 2014. Her work, Ophelia No. 2 was the cover of the catalogue. Young Masters takes a look at Elisabeth Caren’s work and her progress. 

As a child, Elisabeth Caren was very much involved with acting and theatre, and established a corporate career in entertainment before taking a leap of faith into her passion: photography. With early influence from Shakespeare and company, to her parents’ introduction to the art of old masters, Caren’s experiences have shaped her current practice. Her series Ophelia incepts multiple layers of reference — her namesake is the protagonist in the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, and the focus of Sir John Everett Millais’ ethereal painting from which Caren drew inspiration. Her portrayal of the ill-fated beauty juxtaposes the relatively modern technique of photography against traditional depictions of women, often viewed as objects in our patriarchal society. By revisiting the canonical scene with a contemporary lens, Caren visualises a new narrative from art of the past, bringing Ophelia into the 21st century.

Caren received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre and Film Studies from Boston University College of Fine Arts, in 1996. She has  exhibited  in  the  US,  Canada  and  the  UK,  and  has  received  honourable  mentions  in  the  2012  and  2013  International Photography  Awards.  In  2014  Caren  was  shortlisted  for  the  Young  Masters  Art  prize  and  has  since  toured  her  work internationally  with the Cynthia Corbett  Gallery. 2014  also brought multiple  honourable mentions  at  the  IPA  InternationalPhotography  awards  and  IPA ”One  Shot  One  World”  Photography  Competition  as  well  as  winning  the  2014  PDN  Faces Portrait  Competition.  In  2015,  Caren  was  selected  for ‘ The  Creative  Portrait’   exhibition  at  the  Los  Angeles  Centre  of Photography. In 2016, she participated in the Los Angeles Centre for Photography Fine Art Group Show among many others. Caren recently received the grand prize for the PDN Faces Portrait Competition, and participated in fairs such as the London Art Fair and Art Palm Springs. 

Artists are invited to apply now to Young Masters Art Prize in 2017. Applications open until 31 March 2017.

Image Credit: Elisabeth Caren, Ophelia No. 2, 2014, C-type digital print on aluminium, 50.8 x 76.2cm, Edition of 6

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